Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:"
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book. 


My Teaser:


"Akira slid open the door to the room where Saburo died.  "He had access to secret documents.  Maybe Kazu is a spy."  page 78

From Blade of the Samurai (A Shinobi Mystery) by Susan Spann.  The book came today and I think I am really going to like it.  

What Else I Read/Listened To in September 2014

Books:

 Slimy Underbelly by Kevin J. Anderson - I have a hard time defining Slimy Underbelly.  What I can say about it is that it is great fun to read.  Much of it seems to be very tongue in cheek.  
Dan Shamble is a zombie detective who arrived back on the scene after an event that changed things on Earth.  He is joined with other paranormal characters who live in the Unnatural Quarter.  Look for fun characters, unusual events, new mysteries,and just a plain fun read.  It  amazes me how Kevin Anderson changes his writing style to match the story.  I have read several of his series and each has its own style.  The writing in Slimy Underbelly is a great fit for the characters, the plot and the series.

Beauty's Beast by Amanda Ashley - This is a reverse take on Beauty and the Beast.  Kristine is the Beauty and Erik is the Beast.  Unlike the original story where the Beast turns into a handsome prince here Erik is slowly turning into a beast.  Nothing anyone can do can stop the transformation.  Erik has been cursed and the witch who did the cursing is not about to change what is happening.  Love does not conquer all in this book.  It takes something else to get Kristine and Erik to their HEA.  This is a nice story filled with unusual characters.  If you like takes on the Beauty and Beast theme you will enjoy the story.

Free Agent, A Grimm Agency Novel by J.C. Nelson -   This is a
new take on Grimm.  Here he is a Fairy Godfather and he can grant wishes for a price.  Marissa Locks is one of his agents as a result of one of those wishes.  Her parents sold her to Grimm In return for her sisters health. There is quite a bit of world building and character development required for Free Agent.  All of that is done as a part of story line.  The plot is complicated and the results sometimes surprising.  It is a good story to set  up the series.  Many things are solved in Free Agent and with the solutions come the hooks for future stories featuring Grimm and Marissa.

Trial by Fire (Tales of the Terran Republic #2) by Charles E.
Gannon - Trial by Fire is a good follow up to the action in Fire with Fire.  This time there is war and humans are in the cross-hairs of several different species.  Military action is the backbone of Trial by Fire.  It was interesting to watch as humans fight for their lives against the invaders.  There are secrets buried within secrets and not all are on the human side.  A great follow up to the action in book one and a set up for further books in the Terran Republic series.  

The Littlest Cowboy (The Texas Brands Book One) by Maggie
Shayne - I became a Maggie Shayne fan with her de Luca and Brown books so when I saw a The Littlest Cowboy was free on Amazon I picked it up.  While this is a romance it is also a mystery.    Garrett finds a baby on his door step with a note naming him as the father.  Chelsea shows up after identifying the body of her sister who is the baby's mother.  It just get better and better as the book progresses.  Chelsea has issues with men, the baby's actual father (not Garrett) is not a good man and will do anything to get the baby.  Great plot construction, character development, and world building (in this case it is the Brand family of brothers and one sister that is the world).  I love the Brands and want to read the other books in the series. 

The Governess Club: Sara by Ellie MacDonald - Sara had that
one voice in her head for most of her life and the voice was telling her all the things she should not do.  Then she meets Nathan Grant.  Nathan has done some things in his past that make him think he is a very bad man. It takes both of them to change and finally realize they belong together.  I loved both Sara and Nathan.  Sarah quits listening to that voice and Nathan realized he is a better person than he thinks.  It was fun to watch them change, grow and come to their HEA.

The Owner Trilogy:  The Departure, Zero Point, Jupiter War by Neal Asher - This is a very large story divided into three volumes.  There is a surprise at the end.  Earth is in trouble, Alan Saul is escaping, and the adventure starts.  Be prepared for a lot of excitement, interesting characters and very ruthless action on the part of almost everyone.  This is a very dark story so if you want something light to read this is not the series to pick.


In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4) by Kristan Higgins – With In
Your Dreams I have read all of the Blue Heron series and enjoyed them all.  Emmaline Neal and Jack Holland are the couple in this book. Emmaline needs a date for her ex’s wedding and Jack Holland just needs to get away.  There is a cute dog, a killer cat and visits with the couples from the previous three books.  There was a lot of back-story about both Emmaline and Jack.  That was told in long scenes that slowed the book down for me.  This is the weakest of the four books but still an enjoyable read.


Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss #1.5) by Nalini Singh – I love Singh’s
two paranormal series so wanted to give her New Adult series a try.  Rock Courtship is very well written with two appealing characters.  Thea has been burned.  David has been attracted to Thea from the first moment he met her.  Rock Courtship tells how they finally become a couple.  It is a nice story but I never felt the tension when the big problem arrived.  There is a big however for me.  I just skim the sex scenes in books and Rock Courtship is filled with sex both real and imagined.  I know this is what New Adult is so I was not surprised but that did not leave much actual story.  If you like New Adult you will enjoy the story.  For me I think I will stick to Singh’s other two series.

Christmas Brides by Suzanne Enoch, Alexandra Hawkins, Elizabeth Essex, and Valerie Bowman – If you are ready to start reading fun Christmas stories Christmas Brides comes out today, September 30.  The book contains a collection of previously published Christmas e-novellas.  Enoch has a kidnapping and a rescue, Hawkins a lady whose dowry is bringing in fortune hunters and maybe a murderer, Essex story has a arraigned bride who has unexpected qualities and Bowman’s story brings two people trying to escape marriage finding that maybe with the right person marriage would be very nice.  All four are nice well-written and developed stories that you can read in very small bites.

Audio Books:

1920:  America's Great War by Robert Conroy - This is an
alternate history that has Germany winning World War I and then invading the US.  It is an interesting take on what could have happen but did not.  It was interesting to see characters who I knew were real and to see how they reacted in a different setting.

Radiant (Towers Trilogy #1) by Karina Sumner-Smith

Fantasy/ Dysopia/Science Fiction

From Goodreads:

Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast—no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City’s floating Towers.

When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman’s ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai’s home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body—any body—so that it can regain its position, while the Tower’s rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless—until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death.

With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.

Radiant is a long twisted journey featuring two main characters.  Xhea, who thinks she has no magic but can see ghosts and Shai who is a ghost and has more magic than others.  Most of Radiant is back-story and world building.  All of that is done while following Xhea and Shai as they try to survive in a world that was destroyed some time in the past.  Magic is a big part of this world and those with little live in the ruins.  Those with a lot live in towers kept aloft with magic.  During the story Xhea and Shai spend time in both.

It is an easy story to fall into.  Radiant is well written.  The main characters are well defined.  The main plot is the only weakness.  Xhea and Shai never had a goal other than to stay out of the wrong hands.  Their journey is used to build the world and to tell the back story.    It is only in the Epilogue that there is a hint of where they are going and why. I still enjoyed the book and will pick up book two when it comes out.   I want to see what will happen to the two and where they will end up.

Talos published Radiant by  Karina Sumner-Smith in 2014.

I received an ARC of Radiant from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Musing Mondays, September 29th, 2014

TC is in the sun musing about the chipmunk she sees out the window.
Hopefully that is all she does.  So far this month she has presented me
 with two chipmunks - one alive and one dead but both in my bedroom.
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week.Musing Mondays is sponsored by Should Be Reading.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to talk.


Short musing.  I finished and posted reviews on all the book I accepted for review in September.  Feels really good.  I am still reading but just for fun for a few days.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre

Contemporary Romance/New Adult

What Goodreads Says:

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons - missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever - until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

I am used to reading Ann Aguirre’s fantasy and Science Fiction so I was surprised when As Long As You Love Me showed up on Netgalley.  I was not expecting her to write a contemporary romance.  However, like her fantasy and science fiction As Long As You Love Me is a well-written story with great characters.

Lauren and Rob both have emotional problems that are am important part of the story.  Lauren has problems she has been able to hide.  Rob’s problems are a result of the way he has been treated his entire life.  When they get together both are much stronger but true love never runs smoothly and neither does theirs.  I loved how the story unfolded and the way Aguirre added important side characters that made the story much stronger. 

As Long As You Love Me uses issues that are often swept under the rug. Addressing them in As Long As You Love Me to makes this a much more powerful love story. 

Once I started reading I did not want to stop.  I loved Rob and wanted him for my own even though I knew Lauren was perfect for him.  If you like contemporary romance/new adult give this series a try.  I don’t think you will be sorry. While this is book 2 in the series it does a great job standing alone.  

Harlequin published As Long AsYou Love Me by Ann Aguirre in 2014.

I received an ARC of As Long as You Love Me from Netgally in return for an honest review.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Beginning, The Friday 56, September 26, 2014


I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56.
 Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"She points to the chair. "Sit."

I don't want to sit. The chair is cold metal, and I'm wearing a backless hospital gown."

Page 56:

"He stares at my bald head a moment and then looks me in the eye like I'm...like he knows I'm a lost cause, but can't quite bring himself to break the news to me."

From Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin as young adult book I requested from Amazon Vine. I just received the book yesterday and only opened it to use in this post so I don't know any more about the story than the rest of you.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Generation 18 (Spook Squad #2) by Keri Arthur

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

What Goodreads says:

A serial killer striking every twelve hours. A Kite monster murdering at random. Though neither event seems related, Agents Sam Ryan and Gabriel Stern quickly discover a link between the two-the military base known as Hopeworth. But are the serial killings a military cover-up that has gone dangerously wrong, or is there a deeper, more personal reason behind the murders of the red-headed adoptees? And are the so-called random attacks of the Kites nothing more than a methodical clean-up of a past mistake?As the investigation continues, Sam discovers a connection between herself and the murder victims, a connection that implies a link to Hopeworth itself. But if she is a product of the military, why does Hopeworth appear to know nothing about her? With the killings escalating and the danger drawing closer to home, Sam not only has to battle to bring a killer to justice, but to save Gabriel's life. And the one person who seems to hold the key to what is going on, as well as what has happened in Sam's past, is the mysterious man who saved her life. But does she dare believe his words or the dreams she seems to share with him? Because this mystery man may not be just her enemy, but the enemy of humankind itself.

Generation 18 is book two in the Spook Squad series. Much of the world building and character development is done in Memory Zero, book one, so read it first.

Sam Ryan and Gabriel Stern are again at the center of the book.  While the murders seem to be the center of the plot it is the relationship between Sam and Gabriel that really drives the story. They have been put together as partners and that is causing trouble. Gabriel does not want a partner and does everything he can to run Sam off.  Going off alone does not work well for either of them.  Both end up in very dangerous situation where the other has to come to the rescue.

I do love Sam.  She knows nothing about her life before she was 15 and that is a mystery that drives some of the things she does.  Her job is the center of her life but learning about her past is also important.  She has unexpected powers manifesting and she needs to learn more about who and what she is. 

Gabriel deserves several quick swift kicks for the way he treats Sam.  The minute he realizes he is showing any compassion or concern he shuts down and lock Sam out.

There are several new side characters that will carry over to the next book and some that come to a very bad end in Generation 18.  The killings are solved here and there is additional information about Sam.  But there is still a lot left over for Penumbra, the next book that comes out in October.

Dell published Generation 18 by Keri Arthur in 2014.  The book is a reprint of a earlier addition.


I received an ARC of Generation 18 from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Night of A Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn

Mystery

From Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn returns with a Jazz Age tale of grand adventure

On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat's wife, Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown. Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip, she spirits away to her estranged father's quiet country village, pursued by the family she left in uproar. But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances, Poppy discovers there is more to her hero than it seems.

With only her feisty lady's maid for company, Poppy secures employment and travels incognita—east across the seas, chasing a hunch and the whisper of clues. Danger abounds beneath the canopies of the silken city, and Poppy finds herself in the perilous sights of those who will stop at nothing to recover a fabled ancient treasure. Torn between allegiance to her kindly employer and a dashing, shadowy figure, Poppy will risk it all as she attempts to unravel a much larger plan—one that stretches to the very heart of the British government, and one that could endanger everything, and everyone, that she holds dear.

If you read City of Jasmine you will be familiar with the setting and some of the characters in Night of A Thousand Stars.  This story features Poppy March and Sebastian Fox and the setting is once again in Damascus and the surrounding area.  There is so much detail in the description of the area it is like going on a tour of the city in the 1920’s.  The book starts with Poppy running away just before the start of her wedding.  It starts like a comedy continues with comic touches as it becomes filled with tension and danger. 

Poppy has never fit in and is trying to find her way in life.  After only one meeting with Sebastian Julia feels something for him.   He disappears after helping her escape from the church and getting her to her Father’s.  When she thinks he is in trouble she decides to travel to half way around the world to help him.  The big reveal here is that Poppy is a March and kin to Lady Julia Grey making this a bridge between the two series.

Look for a few characters from City of Jasmine.  Even Gabriel Starke makes a brief appearance.  I found the first and last third of the book to move very quickly but the middle third to drag a little.  This was Poppy’s story and there is a lot of dialog that is there to show how she reacts and how she changes.  Sebastian is there to help but plays a lesser but very strong role.  One of the fun elements in the story was how Poppy kept under-estimating Sebastian.

There were several interesting new side characters.  Most appeared and disappeared only to appear again.  Many were not what they seemed.  There were enough clues that I did suspect the role some of the side characters would play before the book was over. 

The scene is set for additional books set in this time period.  I hope we get to see more of Poppy and Sebastian.  They should have enough additional adventures to keep them around.  If not Poppy and Sebastian maybe some other characters will have their story.

Two additional features in the back of the book are book club questions and a great interview with the author.

Harlequin Mira published Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn in 2014.

I received an ARC of Night of A Thousand Stars from Netgalley in return for a honest review.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:"
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book. 


The Teaser:


"When the next dose of magic came, she did not fight it, only sighed and watched the world glimmer as it stood her away."

29% on my Nook Galaxy Tab

From Radiant by Karian Sumner-Smith.  Radiant is Sumner-Smith's first novel and it is a good start to a series.  You can read my review on Sept. 30, the day the book is release.  Books two and three in the trilogy are scheduled to be released in 2015.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Musing Monday's, September 22, 2014

TC is in the sun musing about the chipmunk she sees out the window.
Hopefully that is all she does.  So far this month she has presented me
 with two chipmunks - one alive and one dead but both in my bedroom.
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week.Musing Mondays is sponsored by Should Be Reading.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to talk.

Today I am musing about Soulminder by Timothy Zahn that will be released tomorrow. I received an ARC for Soulminder from Netgally in return for a honest review.

I love Science Fiction and Zahn is a well-known SciFi author.  I have not read many of his books so did not know what to expect from Soulminder.   What I got was a book that is very readable and made for great book club discussions.

Dr Adrian Sommers holds his young son as he dies from injuries suffered in a car crash.  That set him on a quest.  He wants to capture the soul as it leaves the body and hold it in a trap until the body can be repaired.  Then the soul is returned and the person is again healthy.  The story really begins when he succeeds. 

Soulminder has a core group of characters and stories that involve them over a 20-year period.  Sommers envisioned this as help to the medical profession and to be used only for those people who would otherwise have no hope of remaining alive.


It is used for that but it is also abused in ways Sommers never predicted.  Sommers is the only one who can change that. 

Soulminder is a very though provoking book.  I have very mixed feeling about trapping a soul and am not sure I every want it to be a real discovery instead of fiction.  However, that is one of the great things about fiction.  It lets you explore new things and think about them in a way you never expect.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Name is A’yen (A'yen's Legacy #1) by Rachel L. Smith

Science Fiction Romance

From Goodreads:

They've taken everything from him. Except his name.

The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant.

Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.

Hidden rooms, information caches and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.

My Name is A’yen is Rachel Smith’s first Science Fiction Romance novel and she is off to a very good start.  A’yen and Farran meet the first time when she purchases him.  There is no love or lust at first sight.  Smith lets the two work together before any attraction develops.  There are problems with that attraction.   A’yen, like the rest of his race, cannot be freed.  Farran’s Father keeps some of the worse breeding farms making it difficult for A’yen to trust her.  While Farran is trying to find the Loks Me home world there are many who are trying to stop her.  A’yen loved his first and only previous owner and is still struggling with his loss.  Things often do not look that great for the two.

The pacing in My Name is A’yen keeps the story moving while setting up the character growth, world building, back-story and plot development.  The story is told from different points of view.  Several times when the point of view switched it was very disorienting as there was no build up just an abrupt change of both viewpoint and location.  Many times that change introduced both new characters and a new setting.  It just took a few seconds to realize what had happened and get back in the story so that was a minor problem but one that I noted each time it happened.

This is book 1 in the A’yen Legacy.  While the book ends with somethings settled there is a lot more story to tell.  Hopefully book #2 will be out soon.  There is a lot more work to be done before A’yen and his people are free.

Rachel Leigh Smith published My Name is A’yen in 2014.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves, September 20, 2014

Books Stacked on My Shelves
shelves.

I got several Library books this week.  Star Road by Matthew Costello and Rick Hautala, Zero Point and Jupiter War book 2 and 3 in the Owner series by Neal Asher.  This series is actually one long book divided into three parts.  Commander Cantrell in the West Indies by Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon.  I have this as an ebook but decided I would read the paper copy since it was available.  

For Review I went a little crazy again this week.  The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord, Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding by Victoria Alexander, The Christmas Ranch by Raeanne Thayne, Til Dragons Do Us Part by Isabel Cooper and The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.

That is it.  Now all I have to do is read and enjoy or read and review.